PILOT MOUNTAIN — A groundswell of support locally has bolstered a drive in support of automobile accident victim Jacob Pettitt with more than 160 families, businesses and individuals responding.
According to Ladies In Prayer Serving (LIPS) spokesperson Heather Torry an initial printing of 600 tee shirts supporting Pettitt and his family and prayer in schools quickly were given out with 2,000 more being printed. Torry said the effort was spearheaded by the firm of Chelli & Associates in Pilot Mountain. She said the shirts are for donations were accepted. All donations go to support the Pettitt family.
LIPS Spokesperson Denise Shelton said final details of distributing the shirts have not been decided yet but plans are under way to give out shirts to students during Friday football games at East Surry High School, soccer games, church groups and perhaps other schools. After this Friday’s game these shirts will also be available at Pilot Mountain Flower Shop on Shoals Road.
According to North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. M.W. Whitener, a 2010 Nissan Maxima allegedly being operated by Pettitt was traveling east on Old Westfield Road Sept. 3 at around 8:40 p.m. The automobile appears to have run off the right side of the road, striking a tree. Pettitt was allegedly operating the vehicle under a learner’s permit.
Pettitt and 39-year old passenger Darragh Boutis each had to be extricated from the vehicle by Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad members on the scene. Two helicopters, which landed on East’s baseball field, were summoned and both victims were transferred from the scene by AirCare.
Shelton said the demand for the shirts was so strong additional help for a second printing came from Lowes Recycling of Pilot Mountain and the LIPS group. Another effort, independent of this, has been mounted by East Surry High School students who have created their own shirt which says “Pray for Jacob.”
“Our group deals with tragedy and we told them we’ve got this,” said Shelton. “All of us started making calls.” She said the first shirts included messages about bringing prayer back into schools as well as encouragement for schools, community and businesses uniting. The shirts also had a cross, Matthew 18:20 and the phrase “schools unite a legacy is born” on them. The newest shirts will include the expanding list of sponsors and schools holding prayer circles in support of Pettitt.
Chelli Perry Bruner said that two accounting firms and two law firms based in Pilot as well as Capital Bank are managing the tracking of donations received because they are tax deductible.
“Any students wanting a shirt are invited to be at the next (East Surry) game which is this Friday at West Stokes,” said Shelton. “I am truly humbled by the response. It’s awesome to see these students gathering and praying around the flag poles for Jacob and his family.”
She said the unity shown by participants and supporters has been “a real blessing” and that she knows “God is smiling down on our youth in our county.”
“I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason,” Shelton said. “I am in awe over this generation. You hear about them being spoiled with electronics but they know who God is and they know who to go to with their troubles. I cannot say enough about the love and support shown in this community.”
Persons interested in the shirts may contact Torry at 336-368-2548, Celli & Associates at 336-368-4878 or Lowes Recycling at 336-368-8808.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.